Since the launch of the Freedom & Fairness for Fyffes Workers campaign in 2017, in response to reports of labour rights abuses on their plantations in Costa Rica and Honduras, and their subsequent expulsion from the Ethical Trading Initiative as a result, Europe’s biggest fruit trader has acquired new leadership and a new found commitment to sustainability.
Published last week, Fyffes’ first ever sustainability report commits the company to 13 related sustainability targets, focused on four areas – environmental stewardship, healthy living, helping people, and responsible business.
The focus areas and targets are aligned to eight UN Sustainable Development Goals: 2 Zero Hunger, 4 Quality Education, 5 Gender Equality, 6 Clean Water and Sanitation, 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, 12 Responsible Consumption and Production and 13 Climate Action. In addition, in line with UN SDG 17 Partnership for the Goals, Fyffes plans to work with partner organisations to achieve its targets.
Of particular relevance to the Freedom & Fairness campaign, which called on Fyffes to take responsibility for human rights in its supply chains, the company has set itself the following targets:
- No work-related fatalities and no severe work-related injuries by 2025
- 100% of Fyffes workers and supply chain workers will be trained on human rights by 2030; 100% of managers and employees by 2025
- 100% of own sites in Latin America to benefit from Gender Equality Programmes by 2025 and 50% of suppliers by 2030
- Eradicate gender pay gap in own operations by 2030
In addition, Fyffes will identify all Living Wage gaps for its own operations and most of its suppliers by 2022.
This follows the publication of the Fyffes’ Human Rights Mitigation Action Plan last autumn and progress in negotiations with trade unions on their plantations in Costa Rica and Honduras towards reaching binding agreements on collective bargaining.
One of Fyffes’ new targets is to achieve the Science-Based Targets initiative’s 1.5° Celsius scenario by 2025, representing a 25 per cent reduction in CO2 equivalent per kilo of fruit.
Additionally, all of its packaging will be compostable, recyclable, or reusable by 2025, while 100 per cent of its own operations will have water management plans in place by the same year.
Fyffes will also “measure the ongoing reduction and replacement of agrochemicals with sustainable alternatives so we can set a target by 2024; define soil management framework and target by 2024; and undertake a climate change impact assessment on 100% of Fyffes supply chain,” the company said.
As part of its Healthy Food for Healthy Lives project, Fyffes also wants to reduce food loss by 80% in all of its own operations, and to develop one new application for each of its core products, both by 2030.
By 2025, it committed to provide five million healthy meals to people in vulnerable groups via qualified partners, and to teach three million people how to eat healthily and minimise food waste.
“Recent global events have brought into clear focus the increasing need for companies to contribute to a sustainable future and I am confident Fyffes is set up to meet those challenges thanks to the commitment to our sustainability goals.” said Julie Cournoyer, global director of sustainability at Fyffes.
Banana Link Policy & Communications Coordinator, Paul Lievens, said “Banana Link welcomes Fyffes’ commitment to sustainability and to protecting human rights in it’s supply chains, and we are hopeful that their dialogue with independent trade unions will see the establishment of mature industrial relations on their plantations in Costa Rica and Honduras.”